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Rivers United beat 2023 Nigeria Federation Cup Champions Bendel Insurance in a five goals thriller to qualify to the finals of Naija Super 8 finals on Sunday at the Eket Township Stadium.

The Benin Arsenal who had won the Nigeria Federation Cup on Wednesday beating old foes Enugu Rangers 1-0 in the final at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba were behind in the 10minute of the first half as Liberia forward Albert Korvah netted in the opener.

The Insurance team parading some young players were brilliant in ball possession with free flair in attacking play. But could not convert most of their goal scoring opportunities not until dot of the half time as Dede Emekoyi leveled from the spot to go into half break 1-1.

On resumption of the second half, Rivers United were much composed approaching their opponent’s defense. It paid- off in the 5 minute, Korvah slotted the ball home from a close range to restore Rivers United lead.

Realising urgency to be back into the game with the lead from Liberia International, Insurance fought like a wounded lion with aggressive- offensive play. Substitute Okon Ini –Obong volleying home from outside the box to equalise with score 2-2 in the 20 minutes from time. To keep hope alive for the Benin Arsenal.

But Morice Chukwu was equal to the expected task as he converted from the penalty spot in stoppage time to hand Rivers United victory.

With the win Rivers United has qualified for the Super 8 finals with Remo Stars, Lobi Stars, Yobe Desert Stars, Enyimba International and Katsina United the other teams.

They will also be joined by two wildcards teams at the competition- Super 8 Finals to be played at the Mobolaji Johnson Stadium, Onikan, Lagos from 7 to 16 July 2023.

Meanwhile, Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki has congratulated Bendel Insurance for winning the 2023 Federation Cup after defeating Enugu Rangers in the final.

In a statement, Obaseki said, ‘’I heartily congratulate Bendel Insurance Football Club for an impressive season run, which culminated in the lifting of the Federation Cup trophy after defeating Rangers in Asaba.

‘’The team, also known as the Benin Arsenal, have given an excellent account of themselves and made us all proud with their outstanding performance, which has continued to befuddle bookmakers.

‘’After having an unbeaten run in Group A of the abridged version of the Nigeria Professional Football League, emerging with 18 matches unbeaten, they have proven their mettle by winning the Federation Cup.

Governor Obaseki added, ‘’ As the team embarks on continental action with their qualification for the CAF Confederation Cup, I charge them to continue on their impressive run so as to place Edo on the continental map.’’

The winner of the women’s Federation Cup, Bayelsa Queens have also been hailed by Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri for successfully defending the title. Bayelsa United triumphed over Rivers Angels 5-4 on penalties after the full time ended goalless.

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